ASN Aircraft accident Fairchild SA227-AC Metro III VH-NEJ Tamworth Airport, NSW (TMW)
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Saturday 16 September 1995
Type:Silhouette image of generic SW4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Fairchild SA227-AC Metro III
Registration: VH-NEJ
MSN: AC-629B
First flight: 1985
Total airframe hrs:15105
Engines: 2 Garrett TPE331-11U-611G
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 3
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:0,5 km (0.3 mls) ESE Tamworth Airport, NSW (TMW) (   Australia)
Phase: Initial climb (ICL)
Departure airport:Tamworth Airport, NSW (TMW/YSTW), Australia
Destination airport:Tamworth Airport, NSW (TMW/YSTW), Australia
The flight was the second Metro III type-conversion training flight for the co-pilot. Earlier that night, he had completed a 48-minute flight.
During the briefing prior to the second flight, the check-and-training pilot indicated that he would give the co-pilot a V 1 cut during the takeoff. The co-pilot questioned the legality of conducting the procedure at night. The check-and-training pilot indicated that it was not illegal because the company operations manual had been amended to permit the procedure. The crew then proceeded to brief the instrument approach which was to be flown following the V 1 cut. There was no detailed discussion concerning the technique for flying a V 1 cut.
The co-pilot conducted the takeoff. Four seconds after the aircraft became airborne, the check-and-training pilot retarded the left engine power lever to flight-idle. The landing gear was selected up 11 seconds later. After a further 20 seconds, the aircraft struck the crown of a tree and then the ground about 350 m beyond the upwind end of the runway and 210 m left of the extended centreline. It caught fire and was destroyed. The co-pilot and another trainee on board the aircraft were killed while the check-and-training pilot received serious injuries.

Probable Cause:

The investigation found that the performance of the aircraft was adversely affected by:
1) the control inputs of the co-pilot; and 2) the period the landing gear remained extended after the simulated engine failure.
The check-and-training pilot had flown night V 1 cut procedures in a Metro III flight simulator, but had not flown the procedure in the aircraft at night. He did not terminate the exercise, despite indications that the aircraft was not maintaining V 2 and that it was descending. There were few external visual cues available to the crew in the prevailing dark-night conditions. This affected their ability to maintain awareness of the aircraft’s position and performance as the flight progressed.
A number of organisational factors were identified which influenced the aviation environment in which the flight operated. These included, on the part of the operating company:
1) an inadequate Metro III endorsement training syllabus in the company operations manual; 2) inadequate assessment of the risks involved in night V 1 cuts; and 3) assigning the check-and-training pilot a task for which he did not possess adequate experience, knowledge, or skills.
Organisational factors involving the regulator included: 1) a lack of enabling legislation prohibiting low-level night asymmetric operations; 2) deficient requirements for co-pilot conversion training; 3) inadequate advice given to the operator concerning night asymmetric operations and the carriage of additional trainees on training flights; 4) deficient training and approval process for check-and-training pilots; and 5) insufficient quality control of the company operations manual.
The investigation also determined that there was incomplete understanding within the company, the regulating authority, and some sections of the aviation industry of the possible effects of engine flight-idle torque on aircraft performance. Inadequate information on the matter in the aircraft flight manual contributed to this.

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: BASI
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 9 months
Accident number: BASI report 9503057
Download report: Final report



photo of Swearingen-SA227-AC-Metro-III-VH-NEJ
accident date: 16-09-1995
type: Swearingen SA227-AC Metro III
registration: VH-NEJ
photo of Swearingen-SA227-AC-Metro-III-VH-NEJ
accident date: 16-09-1995
type: Swearingen SA227-AC Metro III
registration: VH-NEJ


This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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